Purpose: To develop a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) atlas of the elective clinical target volume (CTV) definitions to be used for planning pelvic intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for anal and rectal cancers.
Methods and materials: The Gastrointestinal Committee of the RTOG established a task group (the nine physician co-authors) to develop this atlas. They responded to a questionnaire concerning three elective CTVs (CTVA: internal iliac, presacral, and perirectal nodal regions for both anal and rectal case planning; CTVB: external iliac nodal region for anal case planning and for selected rectal cases; CTVC: inguinal nodal region for anal case planning and for select rectal cases), and to outline these areas on individual computed tomographic images. The imaging files were shared via the Advanced Technology Consortium. A program developed by one of the co-authors (I.E.N.) used binomial maximum-likelihood estimates to generate a 95% group consensus contour. The computer-estimated consensus contours were then reviewed by the group and modified to provide a final contouring consensus atlas.
Results: The panel achieved consensus CTV definitions to be used as guidelines for the adjuvant therapy of rectal cancer and definitive therapy for anal cancer. The most important difference from similar atlases for gynecologic or genitourinary cancer is mesorectal coverage. Detailed target volume contouring guidelines and images are discussed.
Conclusion: This report serves as a template for the definition of the elective CTVs to be used in IMRT planning for anal and rectal cancers, as part of prospective RTOG trials.